At first blush, it may appear to be the odd couple marriage of the 529 college savings plan market.

West Virginia has just announced that it has tapped the academic-minded Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) of Santa Monica, Calif., to become the sole investment manager for its new SMART529 Select program. This program will be offered without a sales charge directly to investors nationwide with a minimum investment of $500. Ten static portfolios and seven age-based investment choices will be available, each utilizing DFA's no-load, 12b-1-free mutual funds.

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